The government’s higher planning board is expected to reach a decision soon on the award of a build-operate-transfer (BOT) contract for the Izmit bridge crossing, according to officials of the State Highways Directorate (KGM). The sole bidder for the $1,000 million scheme is a joint venture of France’s Bouygues and the local Vinsan.

The KGM itself has found the bid acceptable, but it must be approved by the board because it was the only one returned in December, according to the officials.

Other bidders were deterred by constitutional court findings that BOT contracts represented concessions and not commercial contracts, ruling out access to international arbitration in case of contractual dispute. The Bouygues-Vinsan venture indicated it was prepared to carry on with its bid, however, the officials say.

The Izmit crossing includes a bridge or combination of bridges across the bay of Izmit itself, with a total length of about 3.5 kilometres, and a motorway with a total length of about 50 kilometres between Dilovasi on the northern shore of the bay to Orhangazi near Bursa. Consultants to KGM are Canada’s Delcan with the local DAP.

The KGM is also continuing BOT negotiations with Spain’s Fabricanos Militares for the construction of a $350 million bridge on a BOT basis across the strait of Cannakale (MEED 24:3:95).

Consultants to KGM are the UK’s Brown Beech & Associates with the local Botek.